Molly TonePrint by Jon Thorne
For Jon's Hall of Fame Reverb TonePrint, a.k.a Molly, he went looking for an ECM Records, jazz inspired sound. It is a sweetened sound with a short decay that allows the original bass tones to show its prominence and the effect to disappear shortly after. Molly is a sound suited for playing with a bow.
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TC: Do you know what kind of sound you’re looking for here? Thorne: Nothing too cavernous. I want the sound of the instrument to be forefront but just sweetened. I am looking for a bit of an ECM Records reverb sound. I’ve also been asked to get a reverb sound for use with the bow.
TC: Who has inspired you over the years when you were creating your personal tone? Thorne: I was very inspired by a lot of bass players on ECM. It was one of three things that tipped me into bass playing. One of them was hearing Danny Thompson, the English double-bass player, whose tone is still my favorite of any player. Reading Charles Mingus’ book ‘Beneath the Underdog’ was really inspiring. It was wild stories of jazz lifestyle. Thirdly, was when a friend handed me a cassette compilation and on it were Gary Peacock, Miroslav Vitouš, Charlie Haden, Eberhard Weber and Dave Holland. They were people who had taken double bass a long way down the road from where it was in the 50s and 60s and really turned it into a very expressive instrument in its own right.
TC: How has your time with Lamb influenced your playing style? Thorne: It was immediately a brand new world because I had no reference points for that and the music was as futuristic and interesting as anything I had heard. It was bringing elements from all kinds of situations. It was really fresh. Andy’s programming is highly unusual and you had the two human voices and also myself. It was almost less about bass playing for me and rather about trying to evolve a different kind of way of approaching playing within that framework because there was already a lot of bass there. So you had to go with that or keep out of the way or find a way to enhance the music appropriately. Andy mixes the gig live every night and sometimes he’ll throw things on my sound and I’ll react to that, which will bring something else out. So it does have jazz elements in it in that respect, in the improvisation.
TC: Do you have an idea of how long the decay should be? Thorne: Not too long. That’s quite nice there where it is because you get the effect but then it doesn’t linger for too long afterwards. You get all of the benefit of the sweetening of the sound but not too much decay afterwards, which is perfect and exactly what I wanted.
TC: How would you use this sound? Thorne: Honestly, you’re going to completely reshape my whole gig here. I am going to go up 50% I think, sonically. It’s just what I needed at this point.
TC: Do you have a name for this one? Thorne: Molly. That’s my daughter. She’d appreciate that. She is becoming a musician herself.Read more about Jon Thorne